For the last five or six years a strange thing has been happening to me. I regularly check the time on my phone, a clock or anywhere, and its 9:11. That number seems to really stand out. Someone suggested it was a case of confirmation bias, but there seemed a real and continually nagging sense that God has been trying to get an idea across to me.
At first I thought it was something to do with 9-11, that is September 11, a reference to the terrorist attacks in the USA nineteen years ago . However it became clear that no, this was instead the emergency numbers used in the USA to call for help. In Australia we use 000, but in the States it is 911.
So the question which has been on my mind for many years now is “what is the emergency?”
I have sought the Lord, listened and finally in just the last two days a realisation has dawned on me as to what the Lord is saying, and the nature of the emergency.
We as humans tend to think of emergencies as temporary things, that need immediate attention and are often resolved quickly, or over quickly. So a fire in a home is an emergency, and the fire department come, and the home is either saved or lost, but the situation is over in just hours. That is a true emergency.
Or we might look at a situation like in the Bible where armies surrounded Jerusalem and Hezekiah called for fasting and prayer. That was an emergency too. But it didn’t last forever.
The emergency I speak of however is not something that is going to be over quickly, and is not something that feels life threatening, and this was why I was unable for many years to realise what was so urgent, so important, and so disastrous if it wasn’t attended to. The truth is that the apostolic message that we carry is so crucial, so important and urgent that if we don’t attend to it with sufficient prayer and urgency, it will fail to gain the ground that must be gained. There are false apostolic messages, and the modern worldly culture also so easily influences people in the Body of Christ. We can easily have a sense that we are all ok doing little, when we are in truth called to serve Christ more than ever.
In the book of Zephaniah chapter 2, the prophet called the people to a ‘solemn’ assembly, or sometimes called a sacred assembly. This was because of an emergency which needed rectification, that the people has stopped following the Lord. It was so serious that even the bride and bridegroom were to effectively cut short their honeymoon to attend this event. In that setting it was specifically a call to repentance because the judgement of God was looming over them. It illustrates how important it was to deal with things of the Lord.
The authentic apostolic message is needed, and in fact the urgency for this message is greater now than ever, and while there doesn’t seem to be judgement looming over us as in the book of Zephaniah, yet there is a sense that everyone, bride and groom included, should take up the call to see the apostolic message of Christ find its way into the Church, the body of Christ, so that every heart is transformed again.
The Church is supposed to change, to be relational, and this is the heart of the apostolic message. When will God’s people love one another, serve one another, put aside differences, work together. Thank God this is happening more and more, but the message remains that this is an important need, and we should give our prayers and our efforts to it.